Google petitions to block out court transcript parts that describes its email scanning methods
Mar 17, 2014 08:58 AM EDT
A Bloomberg report said Google Inc has filed a request in court seeking to black out some parts of a court transcript that provides details on how the world's largest Internet-search provider mines data from emails of its many users. The legal move is the latest development regarding a lawsuit filed against Google over illegal wiretapping charges.
In the filing, Google had asked presiding US District Judge Lucy Koh to redact certain parts of a transcript from a public court, but did not go into any details. Lawyer Sean Rommel, who represents the plaintiffs in the illegal wiretapping case against Google, told the judge in a hearing on February 27 that the tech company was concerned about information surrounding "Content Onebox," which was used to intercept e-mails to purportedly obtain data for Google to build user profiles and use them for target advertising purposes.
The February 27 hearing held in a San Jose, California federal court, Bloomberg said, was to determine whether the illegal wiretapping lawsuit should be awarded group status. Companies like National Public Radio, New York Times Co. and Washington Post Co had requested Koh to unseal other key documents in relation to the case that were filed earlier. The news agency said Koh's decision will set precedent to other illegal wiretapping lawsuits filed against LinkedIn Corp and Yahoo! Inc.
Rommel said during the hearing, "Google itself has admitted and declared that the location and the timing of Content Onebox's existence is proprietary, it's secret, it's unknown. There's not a single disclosure in the record which identifies that there's a content extraction feature occurring in the delivery process, which would be the interception."
Bloomberg observed that Google's petition was not in line to the statement made by the search engine company's lawyer, Michael Rhodes, who told the court, "We came here today and we unburdened the court of any sealing effort. We agreed that all of the material that had been previously designated confidential could be aired in the public courtroom so that those folks back there in the media could see that Google has nothing to hide here."